The European Single Market Generally Appreciated by Austrians

OrganizationsOther ♦ Published: January 2, 2023; 10:33 ♦ (Vindobona)

A survey commissioned by the Austrian Society for European Politics (OeGfE) displayed that Austrians are generally and pragmatically satisfied with the four freedoms of the European Single Market. The European Single Market is 30 years old now, so Austrians can serve this as a review of the market.

The Austrian Population Generally Sees the European Single Market as Having a Positive effect on Austria. / Picture: © Flickr / Dimitar Nikolov / [CC BY-SA 2.0(]

The four cross-border freedoms for the movement of goods, services, capital, and people were a success story to which, according to a survey by the Austrian Society for European Policy, majorities of Austrians also see the market positively. This survey was conducted by from December 5th to 7th, 2022 on behalf of the OeGfE. 1000 people were surveyed online across Austria, the Austrian population, 16 to 80 years, representative of age, gender, region, and education.

According to the survey, seven out of ten respondents feel the free movement of people, which allows EU citizens to live and work in another member state, is of significant importance. About a quarter, however, say this is rather unimportant or of no importance. A majority - 69 percent - believe the free movement of goods on the domestic market is an important achievement: 37 percent believe it is "very important", and 32 percent believe it is "quite important".

Around two-thirds view the freedom to establish and provide services as a "very important" or "rather important" opportunity that the single market offers. Free capital movement is regarded as "very important" by nearly six out of ten respondents (24 percent) or "rather important" by 34 percent. Nine percent said it was not important at all. Three out of ten said it was rather not important.

Large domestic companies have benefited most from the European single market, according to Austrians. The country's participation in the single market appears to be advantageous to 77 percent of respondents (58 percent and 19 percent, respectively). Among those surveyed, more than three-quarters said the EU's single market benefits Austrian consumers. Over six out of ten respondents believe that participation in the EU single market benefits domestic workers; 24 percent see "big" benefits and 35 percent see "small" benefits. In a ten-year comparison, the balance is much more positive: the number of those who see advantages has increased by 12 percentage points, and the number of those who recognize disadvantages has decreased by 9 percentage points. The EU single market is perceived to have benefitted small and mid-sized businesses in the home country by 57 percent.